Rebecca Barker (37), who was a sex addict, has decided to go public. She hopes showing she is not ashamed to admit her addiction will help lift the stigma attached to it.
If it could happen to her it could happen to anyone, she believes.
“The addiction got so bad that even if I was having sex five times a day, it wasn’t enough,” she told the BBC.
“It was after the birth of my third child (in 2012) and I was going through a period of depression.”
In 2014, two years into her depression, she found sex had started to become a compulsion.
“I started to crave sex more frequently….until it came to a point where it was all I could think about.”
“For me it lasted three months,” she told This Morning, ” and it wasn’t until it stopped that I realized it was an addiction.”
It got to a point where leaving home was “very uncomfortable.”
“I became a hermit,” she told the BBC. “I stayed at home because I felt ashamed that it was all I could think about. Even though no one could read my mind, it still felt very uncomfortable for me to be around other people.”
She and her husband both worked from home which to start off with was “very handy” for her condition. Initially he appreciated her increased appetite and saw it as a sign she was recovering from her depression.
But soon her constant demands for sex became overbearing and he started asking questions about where it was coming from and why. He suspected she was having an affair and that the frequent sex she wanted with him was to placate her guilt.
“Before I had this addiction, sex with my partner was a pleasurable experience, but I didn’t find any pleasure during the addiction itself, it was as if I had to have the hit then as soon as it was over I was obsessing about it,” she told This Morning.
At the end of 2014 she told her partner she” needed to get better” and went to stay with her mother. She had sought the care of psychiatrist at the time.
By then her partnership was in trouble and it soon crumbled completely.
Rebecca has since moved to France to start a new life.
She again has a partner and is enjoying a normal sex life with him. In that way sex addiction differs from substance addiction she says because if you’re an alcoholic you can never drink again.
She hopes her story will show other people with the problem that there is a way out and it is possible to break the cycle and resume a normal life.
Medical News Today defines sexual addiction as “a condition in which an individual cannot manage their sexual behaviour. Persistent sexual thoughts affect their ability to work, maintain relationships and fulfill their daily activities.”
It can have a severe impact on a person’s life but key bodies have not yet established it as diagnosable condition.
Why it happens is unclear but an estimated 12 – 13-million people in the US experience sexual addiction according to Medical News Today.
Two of the most high profile celebrities to have admitted they suffer from the condition are Michael Douglas and Russell Brand.
Sex addiction could soon by approved as an impulsive disorder by the World health Organisation.